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Hi Readers,

Thanks for joining me again as we continue our tribute to Black music.

As a 42 year old woman with a southern heritage, Blues was the dominant genre that appealed to my fellow Mississippians-especially the older adults.

However, classic 70’s Soul was the music that fed me spiritually.

Forgive me; I know I must sound like a broken record because I have waxed poetically about my love of this genre of music along with some of the most esteemed soul singers.

While I love and will continue to honor and praise iconic African American R&B legends, I want to give credit to white singers who made (and continue to make) valuable contributions to Soul music.

That something in R&B which sets your soul on fire has the power to transcend race as evidenced by the vast number of white Soul artists past and present.

Readers…….

I remember many warm days rocking to the soulful grooves of Ms. Teena Marie.

The Original Blue Eyed Soul Sister!!!!!!!!!!

Fire and Desire………

That is what she conjured up in a listener’s mind when she paired with funk superstar Rick James.

I especially love Ooh La La La.

It’s the way that you feel when you know it’s real.

She sang this song on Soul train and really rocked the place. I swear, fans and critics alike would have been forgiven for mistaking or believing Teena was a real sistah-just on the light side.

To me she is a true blue soul sister!!!!

RIP Teena.

Some of my Teena Favorites

Ooh La La La

Portuguese Love

If I were a Bell

Deja Vu: I ‘ve Been Here Before

Lisa Stansfield-Incomparable, Peerless, a true original!!!!!

I was 18 or 19 the first time I heard Lisa.

Oh yeah, as I said, I am 42.

Not showing my or Lisa’s age.

Just showing how timeless she is.

Anyway, I remember going to the store and requesting Been around the world by a singer named Lisa Stansfield. Her record had been receiving serious airplay on Black radio.

Well, imagine my surprise when I saw that she was White!!!

But hey, please believe that didn’t stop me from driving everyone around me crazy because I played that song to death….

Assuming that she was a one hit wonder or just sang one soulful song on an album composed of less stellar hits, I was pleasantly surprised when she consistently had one hit after another that topped the Black charts!!!

I’m All Woman

Been Around the World

Change

The Longer We Make Love with Barry White

This is the Right Time

Her pairing with Barry White on The Longer We Make Love is one of those classic soul ballads that generates a sizzling sexuality-definitely grownup music!!!!!!

Simply Red……

For some reason, I remember very well the lead singer’s fiery red hair.

Irish..

Soul with an accent….

The Politics of Soul…

The American Black….

The Oppressed Irish….

Could this be why the group’s signature sound so resonated with me and the R&B audience?

Their remake of Harold Melvin and the Blue note’s If you don’t know me by now transports the blues tradition of a man’s frustration with the breakup of a lifelong love affair into another culture-thereby making R&B universal.

Boz Skaggs

For the longest darn time I always thought Boz was a Black dude.

Only in recent years that I discovered that he was White!!!!

Boz and that Dirty Low down.

Listening to Boz singing that Dirty Low Down is an experience akin to listening to Johnny Taylor.

Yes, that is how delightful he is to listen to.

Boz can also rock that guitar to accompany his soulful voice.

That guitar. That is the most memorable aspect of this song.

This recording is meant to be rocked in those blues clubs that dot the southern landscape as well as the urban North.

Dirty Lowdown is one of those magical 70’s throwbacks that sound as if it was just recorded.

Billy Vera….

He came into my consciousness as a teenager.

It was on an episode of Family Ties.

It was the episode when Michael J. Fox’s character breaks up with his girlfriend.

Vera’s song At This Moment underscored the pain and sadness of this breakup.

I was left breathless when I first heard the song.

No kidding, the song played in my head continuously.

I could not shut off the play button.

Like Skagg’s Dirty Lowdown, At this moment is still relevant to Black music and audiences.

Michael McDonald…..

With this artist Soul really does not recognize color.

Let’s see…

His teaming with Patti Labelle on On my own was and still is a hit.

For me McDonald’s legacy in the Black music tradition was solidified with his duet with James Ingram on the hit Yamo be there.

Slang for I am going to be there.

Michael serves notice that not only can he rhythmically sing Black, but can talk in the Black tradition!!!!

A tribute to Blue Eyed Soul singers would not be complete without legends Hall and Oates.

What I love most about Hall and Oates is their ability to combine R&B/Soul with Rock.

This unique combination made that old school Soul sound more appealing to a contemporary generation.

In turn it made rock (with a softer edge) appealing to a whole new generation also.

The result was magnetic for the MTV generation!!!!!

Hall and Oates is still one of my favorite Rock-N- Soul Groups of all times….

The Bee Gees

Soul with an Australian accent!!!

Some of my favorite Bee Gees hits….

Emotions

More than a woman

How deep is your love?

This group brilliantly captured that distinct 70’s style with a mix of psychedelic and disco.

In all honestly, some of the songs by White singers trying to capitalize on the brief popularity of Disco sounds contrived and diluted.

Not so however with the Bee Gees.

Their late 70’s and early 80’s songs are still worthy of emulation on the Black charts and Black radio today.

Thanks readers for another nostalgic trip as we play tribute to Black music.

Join me later when we honor 70’s R&B Divas.

Until next time……

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